How to Put Real Meaning in ‘Thank You’

thank youSometimes both the “old fashioned” way and the new web-savvy Internet way miss the mark. Let me give you an example.

It’s standard procedure – and good business – to take note of your customers each year with some kind of “thank you.” Traditionally this might be a card during the holiday season, or at some other milestone during the year.

But can we talk? Anyone who has ever received the mass-mailed thank you card knows full well how impersonal it is, despite the company’s best intentions.

Email no big improvement

Now let’s flip the calendar forward the the Internet age. Today you can send all kinds of messages and greetings via email and by referring someone to a web page. With basic database manipulation you can even have the recipient’s name properly incorporated into the message.

However, those are, frankly, just as impersonal as the bulk-mailed greeting card. In both cases, what is missing is anything resembling a truly personal connection between the business and the customers.

I’ve spent a little while setting this up because I believe the solution that Constant Contact devised to add the personal touch to the customer thank you, is both clever and very effective. Their creative team, under the leadership of Tim Weldon, came up with the idea of videoing Constant Contact employees writing personal thank you messages to their customers on a big “chalkboard” wall. Let’s call it a “thank you wall.”

Benefits all around

“Rather than our creative team simply creating the video – as in years past – we wanted to make it more personal and get all of our employees involved. That would help put a face to our company, the people behind the logo,” explains Tim.

“And a huge side benefit would be that, when the wall was finished, we’d have a constant reminder to both our employees and visitors of what is most important to us. Oh, and it simply looks cool as hell,” he adds.

I agree.thank you wall

Using real people, writing the messages they have written themselves, gives the thank you wall a level of authenticity that you can’t get with either a typical email or even a nice card sent through the mail. I’d also add that the video itself is very fun to watch. How many times does a year-end thank you from a business also offer entertainment value on its own?

The lesson learned

Here’s the big takeaway from this project, as I see it: Look at something you do all the time and approach it from a completely different angle. Get inventive with what you usually consider to be mundane.

Your customers will notice.

Sponsored by AT&T

Image: “Thank You,” © 2003 Paul Downey, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.